GoedBericht.nl logo
English Blog

Galatians 2:11 – Paul withstood Peter

14-06-2022 - Posted by Hans

Now when Cephas came to Antioch, I withstood him to the face for he was self-censured.

Cephas’s visit to Antioch described here must have taken place relatively shortly after the Apostle meeting. At least before Acts 15:39 because there Paul and Barnabas separated, while Barnabas is still here with Paul (2:13).

This is the third encounter with Cephas that Paul describes in this letter. In 1:18 Paul visited Jerusalem to tell him his story. In 2:1-10 Paul gets official recognition from Cephas and the other “pillars” in Jerusalem. And at this third meeting in Antioch, Paul withstands Cephas right in the face. Paul’s long account should make it clear that his apostleship is not inferior to that of those who were esteemed in Jerusalem. On the contrary; this third meeting is the climax in Paul’s argument. For his ministry is not only recognized and acknowledged by Peter and his followers. On this occasion Paul even proves himself above Peter.

The wording in Greek indicates that Peter was already condemned by his own act. Paul did not shrink from confronting the chief among the twelve. Very confronting also for the Galatians: not Paul was corrected by Peter, but Peter by Paul!